Repeat Disaster Loss to SC

Stanford crumbled under USC's pressure once again, though it wasn't quite the same turnover story in what was actually a worse collapse. This was bad Stanford basketball in just about every aspect of the game. Simon Sez that the turnabout after halftime was the difference, though placing how it happened isn't so easy.

Am I missing something here? Wasn't Stanford down one at halftime? Didn't Clancy AND Granville have three fouls each? Didn't Stanford have the momentum after Borchardt played a grand total of six minutes in the first half? I wish I could have been a fly on the wall for the halftime talk. What could it have been about? Did the team put on a movie at halftime or something? I must be missing something. Someone please explain what happened in this second half because I am as puzzled as ever. It looked like USC was playing at home, and Stanford was on the road. USC calmly ran their sets and the Cardinal were all over the place. The press once again drove Stanford crazy as Craven, Granville and Bluethenthal were all at midcourt ready to pounce on whoever had the ball. True, the turnovers were down, but all of Stanford's offensive sets started with about 24 seconds on the shot clock. This forced Stanford into some very bad sets and usually turned the ball over. Hardly any of the perimeter jumpers were falling, and most of Stanford drives to the basket resulted in off-balance bad shots. This was only the offensive side of the ball. On the defensive end, USC ran whatever they wanted in the 2nd half. If Clancy wanted a perimeter jumper, then he got it. If Granville wanted to penetrate, he could. If Granville wanted to penetrate and pass to Bluethenthal, he could. Is everyone starting to figure out how this game went?

In the first half, things weren't so bad. Barnes did slip on a fast break layup, and Borchardt lost another transition opportunity, but things weren't so bad. Stanford fell behind 11-5 but before anyone knew it, they ran off 14 straight points and it was 19-11. Borchardt soon picked up his second foul on a rebound attempt and was relegated to the bench for the final 15 minutes of the half. USC crawled back and the game was back and forth with neither team really getting a lead larger than three. Neither team walked into the locker room with much momentum, but Stanford did survive without Borchardt very well. Then the second half came, and it was probably the worst half of basketball I have ever seen. I can't believe I was ever upset at last year's team; I would do anything to have them be playing this year. Everything that could go wrong for a team went wrong for Stanford in the second half. They were out-played, out-coached, out-hustled, out-everything!!!!! It was really sad; USC scored the first eight points and the rout was on. Stanford clawed within 10 twice, but the Sam Clancy Show was in full-effect as he almost single-handedly put Stanford away with his mid range jumper and rebounding. The Trojans basically went on cruise control for the last ten minutes of the half and the game ended as a 77-58 victory for USC. Clancy finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds to post his eleventh double-double in a row. Just a great player and a strong candidate for POY in the Pac-10.

Jacobsen was the only player for Stanford with a decent game, finishing with 23 points, but most of those were when the game was completely out of hand. He also had many turnovers - I lost count at about six. And they resulted in many easy baskets for USC. No one else on Stanford really had a game of importance. The team finished with 58 points, which was the lowest output since the loss at Haas. Lots of sloppy play and careless passes also put this game out of reach. I didn't even feel USC played a great game. Stanford just repeatedly shot themselves in the foot with many mental errors.

Overall, this is a game everyone should forget. There is too much at stake on Saturday with UCLA coming to town. UCLA once again has Lavin on the hot seat and is coming off another embarrassing loss to Cal. In regards to the game tonight, I think we all just have to say the better team won. Sad to say it but I think it is true.


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